Isaiah 60 has the prophet telling us to “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you”. This is God’s glorious rescue for us through Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. The light has come – so God tells His people to respond to it, and to arise and shine! That’s really the only catch to the redemptive offer that God gives us. Salvation is free. Forgiveness of our sins is free (at least to us). But we have to rise up and receive it. We have to recognize our sin and confess, repent and turn the other way, and just take what God holds out free for us. It really doesn’t get any better or simpler than this. God has paid the price through the shed blood of Christ. We merely need to make that gift of grace our own.
“Lift up your eyes all around, and see….then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and exult”. God’s got a great plan for His people. He’s calling them together and they’ll all come home. We need to keep our eyes on heaven and see what He’s up to, even now. God’s not dead, and isn’t sitting on the throne twiddling His thumbs all day. He’s active and alive and making things happen all around us. We need to pay attention and see His actions. We need to be thrilled with His goodness.
God’s clear that His relationship with His people is not always smooth sailing: “for in my wrath I struck you, but in my favor I have had mercy on you”. There are times when we need a good swift whack to the side of the head. God has to do something pretty strong to get our attention and point out that we can’t just keep doing whatever we want. Obedience still matters. Sin still carries a price. At the same time, in His love, He stands ready to pour His mercy out on us in spite of what we do and who we are. He loves us. Always has, always will!
God’s going to make Himself known: “you shall know that I, the Lord, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob”. If we were to boil down what our purpose on earth really is as a Christ Follower – it is this – to make God known and let the world see the power of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ in us. God is the center of what our message should be. Life isn’t about us. It’s about Him. It’s about who He is and what He has done. He is the only One worthy of praise. Too often we get in the middle of that. It’s all about Him and we need to point to Him!